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The U1 snRNP component RBP45d regulates temperature-responsive flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana

By Ping Chang, Hsin-Yu Hsieh, Shih-Long Tu

Posted 14 Jun 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.14.448173

Pre-mRNA splicing is a crucial step of gene expression whereby the spliceosome produces constitutively and alternatively spliced transcripts that not only diversify the transcriptome but also play essential functions during plant development and responses to environmental changes. Numerous evidences indicate that regulation at the pre-mRNA splicing step is important for flowering time control, however the components and detailed mechanism underlying this process remain largely unknown. Here, we identified a previously unknown splicing factor in Arabidopsis thaliana, RNA BINDING PROTEIN 45d (RBP45d), a member of the RBP45/47 family. Using sequence comparison and biochemical analysis, we determined that RBP45d is a component of the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U1 snRNP) with functions distinct from other family members. RBP45d associates with the U1 snRNP by interacting with pre-mRNA-processing factor 39a (PRP39a) and directly regulates alternative splicing (AS) for a specific set of genes. Plants with loss of RBP45d function exhibit defects in temperature-induced flowering potentially due to the mis-regulation of temperature-sensitive AS by RBP45d and PRP39a of the key flowering gene FLOWERING LOCUS M. Taken together, we report that RBP45d is a novel U1 snRNP component in plants that functions together with PRP39a in temperature-mediated flowering.

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